Best Acoustic Guitar

The Best Acoustic Guitars
best overall rating
  • High-quality solid tonewood body
  • Built-in preamp and pickup
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Premium look, feel, and sound
premium choice rating
  • Premium Solid Sitka spruce & Mahogany body
  • Smooth & highly-playable fretboard
  • Amazing intonation and projection
  • Beautiful dreadnought body
great value rating
  • Exceptional workmanship
  • Fun to play
  • Exceptionl intonation and sustain
  • Great electronics

Guitars are an essential instrument in pretty much every genre of music. They can be found in genres like pop, jazz, rock, flamenco, country, soul, r&b, classical, etc. We also have players who play at different levels from beginner to professionals who make excellent livings out of playing their guitars.

[toc]

Just as we have different levels of players, we also have different price points for guitars. You can buy a cheap one for less than $100, and you can buy ones that cost upwards of $10,000. We’ve got you covered in this extensive review, no matter your budget.

All types of people buy guitars, and consequently, some people will stumble on this guide with zero knowledge of the instrument. Maybe you’re not interested in guitars but want to surprise your boyfriend or girlfriend with an affordable acoustic, a mom looking to spend whatever it takes to get the best acoustic guitar for kids {} for her music-loving pre-teen daughter.

OK, we could mention more examples of buyers, but we just wanted to highlight the diverse group of people looking to buy a guitar, and how what is “best” for you might not be what is “best” for another buyer.

How to Find Your Dream Acoustic Guitar?

This is an excellent question! The previous passage tells you “the best acoustic guitar” will vary for each individual. We’ve tried to make it easy for you to find what you need by writing this guide under several criteria.

You can easily browse to the category that is most suitable to you and focus on guitars that suit your budget or desired features.

We have a page dedicated to the best electric guitars {} for those of you interested in electric rather than acoustic guitars. We also have a page devoted to classical guitars {} with nylon strings for the people interested in that type of instrument.

The 10 Best Acoustic Guitars

Product PhotoGuitar and RatingDescriptionCheck Price & Read User Reviews
+ Takamine EF360S-TT

Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Elegant and exceptional quality from this Japanese brand. A high-end option!

+ Martin D-18 Standard

Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Amazing look, amazing sound quality! This acoustic is worth every penny and then some.

+ Taylor 314ce

Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

The 314ce is a high-end acoustic with the looks, cratsmanship, and sound that exceeds expectations.

+ Yamaha A5R Electro-Acoustic

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

A fantastic stage-ready acoustic guitar with a great sound, beautiful workmanship, and a highly-playable neck.

+ Yahama A3M

Overall Score: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Hours and hours of fun with this premium guitar from Yamaha. Sounds and feels like an instrument that costs 4 times as much.

+ Blueridge BR-160

Overall Score: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Blueridge may not be a household brand but they make high-quality and great sounding guitars, and the BR-160 is a must have

+ Seagull S6 Original

Overall Score: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

A stunning and highly-playable guitar with a heavenly sound.

+ Takamine GD93

Overall Score: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

This guitar wow’s us for the price. Could easily be a $2k instrument. Great sound with a highly-playable neck.

+ Kremona Verea Performance Series

Overall Score: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

A sleek double-cutaway body with stage-ready electronics. This one is ideal for practicing or gigging

+ Yamaha APX600 BL

Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

An affordable Yamaha with premium sound and looks

Takamine EF360S-TT

Takamine EF360S-TT Guitar Review

This Japanese brand only offers the best quality, and the Takamine EF360S-TT does not disappoint. It is well-appointed and comes with an excellent warm tone thanks to its pre-aged spruce “Thermal Top.”

The rosewood soundbox delivers a rich resonance with strong bass and clear treble. This guitar looks, sounds, and plays like some of the $10k plus offerings on the market.

You’ll get an even richer sound when you connect this premium-feel guitar to an amplifier. The instrument’s electronics come with the maker’s pickup, which is one of the best in the industry. It delivers a natural and dynamic sound to your amps, producing excellent clarity on every note you play.

This is the guitar to go for if you’ve ever dreamed of owning a high-end instrument but not ready to sell out more than $5K. It delivers a look, feel, and sound that feels high-end, with a classic look and premium materials like Spruce, Rosewood, and Ebony. You’ll also get a good looking and high-quality case, which makes this deal extra sweeter for us!

Martin D-18 Standard Dreadnought

Martin D-18 Acoustic Guitar

A lot of players believe the Martin D-18 is the ultimate embodiment of the dreadnought guitar form. With more than 150 years of experience manufacturing guitars, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that the D-18 is high-quality in every aspect.

The D-18 consists of a solid Sitka spruce wood top and beautiful mahogany sides and back. The fretboard and bridge are made from ebony, and the saddle and nuts are made from bone. A dark, tortoiseshell body binding adds extra strength.

This guitar’s sound is incredible. It produces clear and punchy notes with an excellent balance between bass and treble. You’ll get mid-range sounds comparable to some of the most expensive gear on the market. The D-18 is ideal for every playing style, from playing soft and warm notes to bringing out your inner rock star.

The Martin D-18 is easy to play with easy access to all frets. It’s ideal for people looking for extra volume. The D-18 has a performing artist neck profile that is shallower and very comfortable in any size hand when playing.

The D-18 is a pure acoustic guitar with no electronics, but you can retrofit it with electronics if you need to. You’ll get a nice case when you buy this guitar. The Martin D-18 is built to last a lifetime, and you’ll enjoy it for as long as you have it. We highly recommend it as one of the best out there for intermediate to advanced players.

Taylor 314ce Acoustic Guitar

Taylor 314ce

We obviously wouldn’t want to go through this list without listing a Taylor, which is a solid wood masterpiece from the good old USA. The 314ce has the feel of a top-end premium acoustic guitar.

This instrument rates very high for setup, playability, and sound quality. The 314ce is crafted incredibly well with a solid Grand Auditorium body shape. The Sitka spruce front and Sapele back and sides help deliver a warm, clear, and natural tone with a dynamic range.

Taylor uses mahogany for the neck of the 314ce and an ebony fretboard and bridge. The neck is narrow and fits comfortably in most size palms. The Taylor 314ce is an electric-acoustic and comes with Taylor’s own pickups that produce excellent amplification. This is a very nice-looking acoustic guitar with great sound and a solid classic build that is sure to last for decades.

Yamaha A5R Electro-Acoustic

Yamaha A5R

We all know Yamaha makes quality music instruments and not just motorcycles and outboard motors. Yamaha has been making stage-ready acoustics for decades, and the A5R is an excellent example of their craftsmanship.

The instrument combines premium natural materials with a well-designed dreadnought body shape to deliver a great sounding guitar. The front (or top) is made from solid Sitka Spruce, and they make the sides and back from Solid Rosewood. The neck is made from mahogany and the fingerboard from ebony.

The rounded edges of the fretboard provide comfort when playing the guitar. The neck fits perfectly into most hands and makes it easy to play.

This guitar produces a clean and crisp sound with perfect intonation across the board. You also get a flawless sound when plugged in thanks to Yamaha’s well-known world-class electronics.

 The Yamaha A5R is a well-built unit, making it an ideal instrument for a high-stress environment like a gig. While you may want to keep some of your high-value acoustics at home because of their fragility, the hand-crafted A5R is made for the road and should keep you playing beautiful melodies for decades to come.

Conclusion: A well-built Dreadnought with sound quality that rivals that of high-end Taylors, Gibsons, Martins, and Guilds. You’ll have many years of fun playing the Yamaha A5R.

Yamaha A3M Acoustic

Yamaha A3M

The A-Series from Yamaha is a range of performance-focused guitars with excellent playability ratings. The A3M has a dreadnought shaped body and is made from solid natural materials. It has a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany sides and back. The neck has a slim taper for extra comfort when playing and is made from mahogany. You get a nice feel of the neck when playing.

The A3M has an elegant and expensive look and feel, so your friends wouldn’t know you didn’t pay $5K plus for it.

You get a well-balanced acoustic sound when playing unplugged or plugged. This guitar comes with the ARE treatment from Yamaha, which gives a rich and full tone right from your first play.

This electro-acoustic comes with an SRT2 pickup system from Yamaha, which gives you terrific sound when connected to an amp. It’s perfect for the studio, playing gigs, or leading worship.

Conclusion: We love the A3M because it offers high-end quality at an affordable price. Overall, you’ll enjoy playing this instrument and get an excellent value for the money you pay for it.

Blueridge BR-160 Guitar

Blueridge BR-160

Guitar players with a nostalgia for a vintage acoustic with high-end feel should consider the Blueridge BR-160 from Saga. The Sitka spruce top and rosewood sides and back deliver a crisp and clear sound comparable to premium guitars.

The BR-160 features a mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and a slim design for better comfort. It has some top-notch decoration on the fretguard and headstock. This is a guitar for those of you who love a little bling on your instrument. The butterbean tuners keep you in tune every time you play.

The sound of this beauty is amazing! You get a rich, clear, and crisp traditional sound right from your first play. The sound is sure to impress you and your audience, and it’s hard to stop once you’ve started playing. You are guaranteed to have a smile on your face every time you play this fantastic guitar.

Conclusion: This is a stunning acoustic with a well-built body and neck. It has an amazing tone and superb range for the price you’re paying for it. You would be paying over $5k for this instrument if it were a Taylor, Martin, or a Gibson. We couldn’t recommend this enough.

Seagull S6 Original

Seagull S6 Original

The S6 is a Canadian made dreadnought shaped acoustic with a wild cherry back and sides and a cedar top. The neck is made from solid maple; the fretboard and bridge are made from rosewood. The S6 has a narrow headstock, which allows the strings to stay in tune for longer because they are attached straighter to the tuning pegs than guitars with wider headstocks.

 This is an excellent guitar for players of all abilities because of it’s excellent sound and top-notch playability.

The Seagull S6 has an excellent sound that is clear and strong with outstanding mid-range notes. The sound on this beauty will beat anything most $1,000+ instruments can throw at it.

Although it looks, feels, and sounds like one of the expensive guitars on the market, it sells for under $500, making it an excellent bargain.

Conclusion: The Seagull S6 is a beautiful acoustic made in Canada. It produces excellent sound and looks and feels like a high-end instrument. Players of all skill levels and playing styles will love playing it, and we highly recommend it as one of the best acoustic guitars to buy today.

Takamine GD93

Takamine GD93

This cutaway dreadnought from the Takamine brand is a gem of an acoustic guitar. It is a beautiful piece of instrument and also sounds as good as it looks.

The solid spruce top, three-piece guilted maple and rosewood back, rosewood sides, mahogany neck, and bounded rosewood fretboard give this a beautiful look and amazing sound quality.

The split saddle design enhances the intonation of this Takamine. You get excellent tone clarity, and the slim neck design makes it easy to move your hand along the fretboard when playing. The Takamine GD93 is suitable for both strumming and plucking and players of all skill levels.

Conclusion: This is an ideal acoustic for players of all levels and playing styles. It delivers easy playability and high-quality sound.

Kremona Verea Performance Series

Kremona Verea Performance

We love this guitar for its excellent design and performance. This European-made piece comes with a solid red cedar top and Indian rosewood back. This combination of natural materials produces a sound with exceptional clarity and crispness on all ranges. You also get beautiful resonance and strong volume on all notes.

The neck is made from Honduran cedar and has an Indian rosewood fretboard. The narrower, tapered neck and Venetian cutaway make it extremely comfortable to play.

This classical electro-acoustic comes with the Fisherman Presys Sound Systems electronics, which includes a tuner and equalizer. The system delivers the best sounds even when plugged in and works flawlessly.

The Kremona Verea is well-built with excellent European craftsmanship. It has nylon strings but plays like a steel-string guitar, but with excellent sound quality.

Conclusion: This acoustic guitar offers excellent value for money when compared to other brands and is an excellent guitar for players of all skill levels. It truly is one of the best sounding acoustic guitars on the market.

Yamaha APX600 BL Electro-Acoustic

Yamaha APX600 BL

This is the most affordable option on our list of the 10 best acoustic guitars, but it is by no means inferior to the other brands and models on this list.

Yamaha first introduced the APX Series in 1987 and has improved on it since then. The APX600 is a beautiful stage acoustic that can be easily plugged in for enhanced volume when performing. Unplug it, and you still have an awesome sound clarity and a deep bass response.

 This beginner-friendly option is easily playable with a cutaway design and a narrow neck and string spacing.

Don’t let the affordable price tag fool you. This acoustic can hold its own in every aspect when compared to some of the best mid-priced offerings.

Conclusion: This is a good guitar for the best acoustic guitars for the money. We love the sound, feel, and look and highly recommend it.

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide – How to Buy The Best

We all get excited to choose the best acoustic guitar for our needs, but the sheer number of outstanding instruments on the market can be daunting for even the experienced guitarists among us. This is where this section of our review of the top acoustic guitars come in.

This guide will help you select the right instrument for your playing style and experience level. Step one in the process is deciding how you want to use the instrument. Will you be playing a gig, recording at home, occasionally strumming to your friends or loved ones? The answer to these questions can help you focus on the options you want.

Body Materials and Sound

We refer to the types of wood used to make the body of an acoustic guitar as “tonewood.” The kind of sounds you like to play should determine the type of tonewood you should buy. You want a wood that is highly responsive if you’re a fingerstyle player because fingerstyle playing is more delicate than using a pick.

The most critical tonewood of the body for sound is the “top,” according to several makers and players. These craftsmen believe strongly that the sound of the instrument ultimately depends on the wood used to make the top of the acoustic guitar.

Other essential sound factors of the guitar are the back, sides, neck, and fretboard. The types of materials used to make these parts also affect how the instrument sounds.

Manufacturers also use binding, bracing, and bridge, to enhance or tame the tones produced by the guitar, but these do not generally define the overall sound of the guitar.

We should stress that the sound of the entire tone is not entirely dependent on the species of wood used to make the various parts. Factors like design, craftsmanship, and wood quality also play an important role in defining the tonal properties of the guitar. However, craftsmen and craftswomen often look for the best quality tonewood for making the best guitars and custom guitars.

The most popular tonewoods for making an acoustic guitar

Spruce: It is the most common tonewood for making the top of the guitar, with the Sitka spruce being the wood of choice. Its properties help the guitar produce powerful and clear tones.

Cedar: This species of wood also mostly used to make the top of the guitar. It is highly responsive and, therefore, suitable for fingerstyle players.

Mahogany: Mahogany is the choice of wood for making the back and sides of the body but is sometimes used to make the top. It is not as responsive as cedar or spruce. Guitars with a mahogany top tend to produce a punchy tone suitable for playing country blues.

Rosewood: This type of tonewood is highly responsive and produces a broader range of overtones than other tonewoods. It produces a strong and complex sound in the low range and a generally darker tone in the other ranges.

Acoustic or Acoustic-Electric – Which One Should I Buy?

Our guitar reviews include acoustic only and acoustic-electric guitars that incorporate a pickup or pre-amp system. A lot of players (mostly the beginners amongst us) do not know which system is the best for them.

There’s no straightforward answer to this dilemma. Whichever system you decide to buy depends entirely on your taste and how you see yourself playing in the future. Do you plan on using the guitar for gigs in the future, or do you want to only play occasionally at home or in the studio?

As you may have already guessed, an acoustic-electric guitar is a hybrid of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. You can play it as a traditional acoustic, but it also comes with a pickup so you can plug it into an amp to enhance the volume for gigs, worship, etc. Some also allow you to use a guitar pedal {} to create sound effects and different tones.

In general, the electric-acoustic versions tend to be more expensive than the acoustic-only versions of the same model because of the added electronics. However, there are some affordable good quality electric-acoustics on the market.

We should note here that you won’t be able to use the electric part of the guitar if you don’t have an amplifier. We have a page full of detailed reviews of the best amplifiers for guitars you can buy today.

The choice of an acoustic-only or an electric-acoustic combo depends on how you plan to play it. You’ll want to get an electric-acoustic if you intend to play gigs for large and noisy crowds while an acoustic-only option will be acceptable if you want to play to small, quiet audiences.

Steel or Nylon Strings?

You should consider this question before buying a guitar. Nylon strings are generally not as hard on the fingers as steel strings, so most beginners and fingerstyle players prefer them. However, this is not to say that beginners can’t learn to play on a steel-string instrument. In all honesty, you wouldn’t notice much significant difference between the two.

You typically find nylon-string guitars on classical-style guitars {}, and they deliver a mellow, smooth sound that is suitable for exciting music like the flamenco.

Steel-string acoustic guitars produce bright and crisp sounds suitable for rock, folk, country, and blues.

In the end, this choice is personal, and some of you will prefer one, and others will prefer the other no matter the type of music you play. You should try playing a few instruments in your local music instrument shop or watch a few demo videos to help you decide on the sound you want.

The average listener isn’t going to discern the differences between the two string options, so it may not matter in most applications.

We have a page full of reviews of the best guitar strings to buy {}, so go check it out and get some good strings for your acoustic. Please note that you can’t buy nylon strings for a guitar that came with steel strings and vice-versa. Acoustic guitars are manufactured to use one or the other, so don’t try to swap them because it won’t sound right.

For the adventurous players out there, we invite you to take a look at our guide on the best resonator guitars {} for new playing experience. We go into details about this type of guitar on that page, so we won’t talk about it here.

What Defines a Good Acoustic Guitar?

Well, there’s saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and this is true of guitars as well. The sheer number of styles, price points, and quality of acoustic guitars on the market makes it difficult to just pick one instrument and declare it a good acoustic guitar. A $300 Yamaha is a good guitar, and so is a $3,000 Martin.

There are some qualities we consider when classifying a guitar as “good” or not good, and playability is one of these qualities. You want your play to be as natural as possible. You don’t want to be fighting the guitar when playing in any position. Your hands should move freely around the neck, and your fingers should easily reach all the frets. You want the action to be just right to reduce fret buzz.

Guitars with high-quality builds tend to be more expensive. Those that cost more than $1,000 will use high-quality solid wood while cheap acoustic guitars tend to use cheap, laminated wood like plywood. High-end guitars tend to use exotic and expensive wood with time-consuming hand craftsmanship. However, you can still find a good acoustic in the cheap range, even if they are made from laminated materials. An excellent manufacturing process can give a cheap laminate a high-end look and feel.

Also, a good guitar should have components that work flawlessly together. The tuning keys need to maintain the tune over time without the need for re-tuning. Any electronic components should also work flawlessly with your external equipment like amplifiers.

The Cost of a Good Acoustic Guitar

The amount of money you spend on an acoustic guitar is entirely dependent on your budget. You can find a “good” guitar in all price ranges. Our review of the best acoustic guitars contains low, medium, and high-end models.

Beginners can start learning to play on an instrument that costs between $180 and $450. But there’s no reason you shouldn’t buy one of the high-end models if money isn’t an issue.

For most guitarists, their definition of a good acoustic guitar is one that they can play at home but also play for gigs and other public performances. In such cases, you’ll be looking at an instrument with solid wood materials, good craftsmanship, and a beautiful design. This will fall in the $400 to $800 price range. We should note that we are not necessarily talking about premium guitars here.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Brands

Martin and Taylor are generally considered the two best {} classic acoustic guitar brands. The Martin brand has almost 200 years of experience in making guitars whiles Taylor has been making acoustics since 1974. These two produce some of the top acoustic guitars in the world today.

Martin and Taylor are the most desired brands in the realm of serious guitarists, but there are other top-notch acoustic guitar brands, some of which are also very popular.

Some of the most popular brands include Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez, Epiphone, Washburn, Alvarez, Dean, Guild, Mitchell, Takamine, Ovation, Silvertone, Blueridge, and much more.

Our Final Thoughts

The guitar market is full of low-quality throwaway models, but our list consists entirely of the best manufacturers and models. This list is, however, not an exhaustive list by any means, and some other incredible guitars are not featured here. We will be adding more guitars and categories to the list in the future to try and cover as many brands, models, and needs as possible.

We don’t believe anyone will be displeased if they end up buying a guitar on our list because we’ve made sure only the best acoustic guitars make it onto the list. In the end, your budget and needs will determine which instrument you go with.

You won’t get the best out of your acoustic guitar, no matter how much you paid for it if you’re not a skilled player. We encourage you to keep learning and aim to improve each day. You should try one of the online guitar courses {} if you are looking for lessons. There are great lessons for players of all levels and playing styles.

Ultimately, the average concert-goer or audience doesn’t really care about the brand or cost of your instrument. They can barely discern the differences between a $200 and a $10,000 instrument. They will, however, know if you are a good player or a bad one.

We wish everyone the best of luck on their guitar playing journey, so pick an instrument and go out there and kill it!

Read More Instrument Reviews and Guides

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments